Benitez details Merino injury update ahead of Newcastle v Bournemouth
By Danny Wright
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed that Mikel Merino will miss Saturday’s clash against Bournemouth at St. James’ Park as he faces a couple of weeks on the sidelines with a back injury.
Merino, 21, picked up the knock against Liverpool last month and was left out of the squad in Monday’s loss against Burnley at Turf Moor.
The Spanish midfielder has since seen a specialist about his setback, however it still seems as though he won’t play until after the upcoming international break which follows this weekend’s action.
Benitez was quoted on Newcastle’s official Twitter account on Friday afternoon as confirming the injury blow to his player.
He said: “He will be out for at least a couple of weeks. We will wait to see how he is with his lower back.”
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Merino has been arguably one of the best players in the Newcastle squad this season so his absence will no doubt be felt by Benitez.
The Spaniard joined in the summer from Borussia Dortmund on a loan deal which has since been made permanent, even though he has only played nine times across all competitions for the Magpies.
Newcastle will want to bounce back to winning ways against lowly Bournemouth his weekend after suffering defeat at Burnley.
The Tynesiders are currently ninth in the Premier League standings and three points could see them move up to sixth if things go their way this weekend.
In other Newcastle United news, a manager has declared his interest in striking up a January agreement for this Magpies forward.